The ancient Aztecs loved athletic sports. One of their favorites, second only to ball games, was a sport named Volador, or the flying bird game.
Players wore costumes. Costumes were designed with beaks and features, like an eagle. Wearing their heavy and colorful costumes, Aztec athletes competed to see who was the best flying bird. It sounds simple, but it was very dangerous.
To compete, players climbed a special 60-90 foot high pole. When they reached the top, each player tied a rope to the top of the pole. They did not tie the rope to their legs. They had to hang onto it by holding their legs tightly together. Once their rope was tied, they would push off, and swing upside down around the pole. Points were given for speed, style, and costume design.
If their costume was made properly, and if they "flew" properly, they would look like eagles, flying overhead. Many spectators gathered to watch the flying birds. Just as the Aztecs honored good ball players, they honored athletics who flew well.
Still today, well-trained Mexican acrobats perform this wonderful spectacle. If you ever get a chance to see a performance, donít miss it. Itís absolutely fabulous.